Twenty years later, Spurlock has established himself as a filmmaker with Super Size Me and Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden, and will direct a segment for the upcoming adaptation of Freakonomics. And he'll get to tackle the show he's loved these past two decades as he produces and directs The Simpsons Anniversary Special - In 3-D! On Ice!, which will air Thursday, January 14, 2010.
Spurlock remembers his first impression of the show, watching back in his college days. "When it first came on, I was in college, and it was literally an obsession. It was something that me and all my friends would literally ... at 8 o'clock, we were sitting there on the couch watching this show, and it was something that we all did together," said Spurlock in a conference call with media last week. "For all my four years of college, that was something that we did."
The original panel for Futurama was billed as event where we would "join executive producers Matt Groening and David X. Cohen, and stars Billy West, Katey Sagal, John DiMaggio, and Maurice LaMarche for high-stakes thrills as a top-ranking FOX executive decides live, on stage, whether Futurama will make yet another triumphant return or whether it is gone forever!"
It was an obvious setup for a Fox exec to reunite the cast and creator and cue wild applause from fans for the revival of the cult favorite cartoon. Unfortunately, as a result of the recent contract disputes and salary cuts for the voice cast -- and the subsequent threats from Fox that they would recast the characters -- none of the voice actors were in attendance, although series creator Matt Groening voiced his support for them, saying that "we love our Futurama actors. We hope that FOX and the actors can come to an agreement as soon as possible."
In fact, Jackson is probably one of the many creative minds who helped the show and its characters move into more musical territory and become an even deeper part of global pop culture. When you're a king, you have all sorts of powers, so you might as well use them for the good of your kingdom.
That's why when I become king, I will order all television networks to play nothing but Top Gear and Robot Chicken and that episode of Married...With Children where Al meets a stripper named Rocki Mountains. Anyone who tries to stop me will be thrown into a cell without the benefit of trial and forced to watch reruns of Cop Rock and AfterMASH until their eyes stop working and/or melt right out of their skull. Whadaya gonna do about it? I'm the frigging king!
Futurama has gone through more frustrating cancellations than a United Airlines flight leaving Chicago's O'Hare Airport. No one knows that better than voice actor Billy West and actress Katey Sagal who respectively provide the voice, heart and soul of the show's two main characters, Fry and Leela.
But what has kept the show going is the camaraderie of the cast and crew. Everyone from the show still keep in touch in between other jobs and even have the occasional reunion from their regular crowded visits at ComicCon to smaller get togethers like when Katey said the cast got together to watch her last concert at the MBar in Hollywood.
Most of all, they said they have the fans to thank for their next big reunion when Futurama goes back into production. They both took a short time out of their busy schedules to chat about Comedy Central's two season order.
Have you grown tired of bad TV news? And by bad TV news, I mean bad news about television shows. Bad "TV news" is redundant.
Well, get ready for some good news. No wait, get ready for some great news. No, great doesn't really describe it. Here is some grantasticularly wondergasmiclicious news! (And my 12th grade English teacher said I'd never amount to anything as a writer.)
Comedy Central has ordered all brand new episodes of Futurama, and the show has officially gone back into production.
I can vividly remember a time when The Simpsons was the hot new show that every parent had to keep away from their kids or Child Protective Services would show up and take them away. So every time I see the newest thing that The Simpsons are on this week, I can feel myself aging.
I love The Simpsons. It has been my all time favorite show as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end, amen. So I have to have the coolest Simpsons stuff. But every time I see Bart on a TV shirt, I can feel my hair turning gray and thinner.
I'm reminded of that episode of South Park called "Simpsons Already Did It". There really aren't many firsts left for a series that has gone on for twenty years, but this would be one of the remaining ones. Will they be following it up with a special Passover episode that premieres in Israel on that holiday?
There are many who feel The Simpsons are past their prime, but I really think the only limits to this show are the imaginations of those who are responsible for it (and the lifespans of the voice actors). Bring on more!
Fox just sent word that they've picked up The Simpsons for two more seasons. So, if you've stopped counting, that means the FOX staple will have completed 22 seasons and an astonishing 493 episodes by the time this pickup runs out. I'd imagine they'd want to push for 500, so don't be surprised to see a 23rd season, as well.
Look, say what you will about what the show has become; it's not as funny as it used to be, it doesn't make news anymore, blah blah blah. It's still quite shocking that in this day and age of quick-trigger-fingered network executives that any show can last as long as The Simpsons has.
Reading the synopsis from the press release, it sounds good. The plot sounds a little haphazard, but I think you'd say the same thing reading a synopsis of the plots from any of the DVD movies. One can only hope that this will not be the last we see of the Planet Express gang, but if it is, I hope they are sent off with the respect and dignity they deserve (provided we don't count Fry and Bender).
I really loved Bender's Big Score . I liked but didn't love The Beast With A Billion Backs. I caught Bender's Game, which on my likability scale was between the first and second movies. I'm hoping to really love this fourth one. At the very least, at least they've dropped their penchant of using the letter "B" in the title.
It looks like the Fox "Animation Domination" lineup will be changing. It took FOX long enough to put together a solid two hour block of animated cartoons on Sunday, but now comes word that the tides are a-changing. After thirteen years on the air, King of the Hill will wrap production at the end of this season. Of course, there will be new episodes in the can for airing even into next season. Not to mention that this isn't the first time Hill has been canceled, and ratings now are better than they were then. In fact, executive producer John Altschuler said, "It would be very odd for King of the Hill to not keep going."
At the same time, Seth MacFarlane's "other" show American Dad, has just been picked up for a fifth season. It makes sense for FOX to let King of the Hill go at this time, considering that Family Guy spin-off The Cleveland Show is waiting in the wings. On the other side, though, shouldn't they wait to see if that's going to work before they dump a solid perennial performer like Hill? The way they're going, Seth MacFarlane is going to own Sunday nights.
Saturday -- a time of rest and relaxation. A time to put your feet up, grab a lemonade, open a book, and let the cool, summer breezes gently rock your hammock as a lazy July day passes. Of course, that's if you aren't attending the San Diego Comic-Con. Then, it's out of your bed, quick shower (if any), breakfast-on-the-go, and right back into the queues to see your particular favorites talking about their television shows.
Like Friday, Saturday at Comic-Con will be packed with television goodness. This is the day that many of the big guns come to play. Shows like The Office, Lost, Battlestar Galactica will be making appearances. They will be joined by newcomers Chuck, Dollhouse, and Pushing Daisies. There will even be an appearance by the recently single Sarah Silverman. There's also a good bit of television animation being featured, particularly by Nicktoons and B.E.T. Animation.
In order to make sure you get the most out of the money you paid to get into the convention, we here at TV Squad are providing you with a complete list of television-related panels for that day. If you are interested in seeing what else is going on July 25th you can review the official full schedule at the Comic-Con website. Remember, times and appearances are subject to change and seating in all event rooms is on a first-come, first-serve basis.
As usual, FOX leaves the best press conference (at least as far as I was concerned) for last. I sat through Karl Rove and Chris Wallace getting contentious with the critics near the end of the FOX News panel (more on that later), Jerry O'Connell and the cast of Do Not Disturb strain to answer questions about a show whose clip reel wasn't all that funny, and the millionaires from Secret Millionaire talk about being poor for a week. All of it was made worth it (and, really, seeing Rove start to get annoyed near the end was fun to watch) so we could see the final panel: all the producers of all FOX's Sunday animated shows.
The first person who spoke up, not surprisingly, was Seth MacFarlane. "Is this where Karl Rove sat? Because I don't want to get AIDS." Wow. Unfortunately, no line that was said after that was as shocking or funny. But it was all still pretty good.
The Simpsons has been on the air since 1989 and is still running. AOL TV summed up the animated show's success: "Spawning multiple catchphrases, iconic characters and a 2007 hit movie, FOX's pop-culture cornerstone satirizes overall society." And to think, Jennifer Tilly (once married to Simpsons producer Sam Simon) didn't predict that the show would do well. I remember watching a documentary on poker of all things (Tilly is an avid player as is Simon). She said that she didn't see the allure of people with yellow faces.
My other guesses were even more off-base. The Real World! Friends! Seinfeld! Check out the rest of the list and see how you do.
A preview of the video is on the latest release, The Beast With a Billion Backs, and involves the Planet Express crew caught in a Lord of the Rings-type alternate universe. It's the Futurama team's first foray into fantasy.
The second direct-to-DVD release of Futurama is a fun movie with loads of extras that make the purchase worth it. They include outtakes, deleted scenes, commentary tracks, and an extra I particularly enjoyed: a "Lost Episode" made from a Futurama video game (which was a bit like watching a video game demo, but with jokes). The DVD also comes with a preview of the next Futurama DVD release which looks to be a satire of Lord of the Rings. Guest voices include Brittany Murphy as Fry's new girlfriend, David Cross as the planet-sized Yivo and Professor Stephen Hawking as himself.
Spoilers after the jump...
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